Day 9 of the record-breaking World Series of Poker Main Event saw the remaining nine players play down to the final three.
A rather quick day of play, which only lasted 116 hands, included loud, jam-packed rails and players being eliminated left and right. Now, we enter the final day where either Steven Jones, Daniel Weinman, or Adam Walton will be crowned 2023 WSOP Main Event champion and win $12.1M.
Play will resume with 43:33 left in Level 40 with the blinds at 1,000,000/2,000,000/2,000,000.
1. Steven Jones – 238,000,000 (119bbs)
2. Daniel Weinman – 199,000,000 (99.5bbs)
3. Adam Walton – 165,500,000 (82.75bbs)
4. Jan-Peter Jachtmann – $3,000,000
5. Ruslan Prydryk – $2,400,000
6. Dean Hutchison – $1,850,000
7. Toby Lewis – $1,425,000
8. Juan Maceiras Lapido – $1,125,000
9. Daniel Holzner – $900,000
Path to the final three
While there weren’t any eliminations until the 43rd hand of the day, nearly three hours into the day, they would eventually come in quick succession. Just like at the end of Day 8, Juan Maceiras came out notably aggressive but wasn’t able to use that to his advantage, finding himself short on chips early on after starting the day in 5th place.
Italian apple farmer Daniel Holzner would come into the day in last and found himself down to just eight big blinds early in the day. While Holzner would find a double, he’d be the first to be eliminated, losing a flip with AJo against the TT of Stephen Jones, which propelled Jones into the lead.
Just two hands later, it would be Maceiras to hit the rail and collect his seven-figure payday. Maceiras open-jammed for 17.5M from middle position with K9o and was called off by the ATo of Toby Lewis. Lewis would flop and ace and had Maceiras drawing dead on the turn to send the Spaniard out in 8th place for $1,125,000.
Just seven hands later, it was the experienced Lewis that went home after a bit of a shocker. After Steven Jones opened from the hijack and Adam Walton called from the cutoff, Lewis, off of about 22 big blinds, opted to shove KJo for the steal, attempting to add more than 25% to his stack. Jones, with pocket tens, made the call and they were off to the races for a pot worth 74.2M. Lewis would not improve and was ousted in 7th place for a career-high $1,425,000.
The elimination left a considerable distance between the top four stacks in the room and the bottom two (Prydryk and Dean Hutchison), which was a welcome sight for the majority of the table and for those hoping for an early day.
With $550,000 separating 6th place from 5th place, the two short stacks would play a game of chicken over the next 30 hands or so, occasionally getting into a battle with one another. However, something had to give, and Scotland’s Hutchison would be the one to bow out first.
In the 84th hand of the day, Hutchison virtually committed his last 11 big blinds with pocket fives. Jan-Peter Jachtmann woke up with pocket sevens and shoved over the top. The Scot called and was met with the bad news. He couldn’t improve and was ousted in 6th place for a career-high $1,850,000, the highest score for any Scottish player in poker history.
Ruslan Prydryk would put up an incredible fight, getting back from 12 big blinds to back over 30 bigs, eventually being within touching distance of Adam Walton thanks to a key double with AJ against Stephen Jones’ A8o. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian, a couple of failed three-bets and a few lost pots found him back at 12 big blinds in a matter of a couple of orbits.
On hand #106, Prydryk would eventually bow out, earning himself $2,400,000. Prydryk open-ripped his QTs and was called off by Daniel Weinman’s AJo. Weinman would make two pair on the flop, though Prydryk found himself with a gutshot straight draw. The Q came on the turn to give him two more outs but the river bricked out to see his journey end in 5th place.
At that moment, the rails burst with excitement as play was scheduled to end with four players. However, the tournament director demanded that they finish the final 71 minutes of the level or play down to three players.
An elimination was far from expected as the shortest remaining stack, Adam Walton, still had over 46 big blinds. However, it only took 38 more minutes of play before the Main Event was reduced to three in stunning fashion.
Jan-Peter Jachtmann had ballooned his stack to 137M in chips but lost a crazy pot against Stephen Jones, attempting to bluff with bottom pair and the A-high flush blocker. Jones was holding a full house and took down the massive pot to move up to 224.5M while Jachtmann fell to 91.5M.
A few hands later, Jachtmann would fail to bluff off Jones once more, sending his stack down to 54M. While that may have seemed like plenty of chips, he found himself eliminated just two hands later, the 116th hand of the night.
Jones opened from the cutoff and Walton would decide to flat with pocket aces on the button. The German took the bait in the big blind and shoved with KQo, forcing Jones to fold. Walton called and slammed his bullets on the table, much to the delight of his rambunctious rail.
Jachtmann was drawing dead on the turn and the events center exploded as the final three clinched their place in the final day and locked up $4,000,000 each.
Immediately after the final elimination, the final three rails came together in a “USA! USA! USA!” chant as the final three Americans all survived the day, eliminating their six international opponents.
After clinching the final day chip lead, Jones told Poker.Org that his night of poker is far from over.
“I feel great, I’m going to study some more tonight. Today went really well, I picked up some good hands in some key spots and got a couple of bluffs through. I really couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
Jones, sporting the Chip Leader Coaching patch, was seen going to his rail to discuss strategy with Alex Foxen several times throughout the day.
“(We discussed) ICM spots and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t calling off light. Even though I did on one hand, I thought my ranges were correct.
“Thanks to all my supporters. That was amazing, right? I wasn’t expecting that (such a big rail). The (cardboard cutouts of his) faces were incredible, I didn’t know about that. I’m not really talking to anybody because I’ve been so focused on studying in-between days. I’ve been shooting a couple of texts but there’s so many I haven’t been able to respond to.”
Tomorrow’s action will kick back off at 2pm local time, with the PokerGO stream on a one-hour delay. Expect a long day as the three players come in with an average of just over 100 big blinds each.